How to change leaf springs

Written by russell wood
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How to change leaf springs
Leaf spring suspension (trailer"s suspension image by Diana Mastepanova from Fotolia.com)

The leaf spring suspension is popular among the truck market, because of its weight carrying capacity and cheap production cost. If you want to lift or lower your truck in the rear, you can change out the leaf springs for either taller or lower models. This isn't difficult to do technically, but it does involve some heavy lifting, and it can be a bit awkward to move the parts around.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • Tire iron
  • 1/2-inch ratchet and socket set
  • Open-end wrench set
  • Replacement leaf springs
  • Assistant

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Lift up the rear of the vehicle using the jack and secure it on jack stands. Make sure the frame and axle of the vehicle is solidly set on the jack stands before crawling underneath it. Remove the rear tires using the tire iron.

  2. 2

    Unbolt the u-bolts that connect the axle to the leaf spring using the 1/2-inch ratchet and socket.

  3. 3

    Locate the rear leaf spring hanger on the frame. It's located at the rear of the frame, by the rear bumper. Hanging off the hanger is a leaf spring shackle, which is bolted to the hanged on one end and the leaf spring at the other. Unbolt the spring shackle from the leaf spring using the 1/2-inch ratchet and socket and an open-end wrench.

  4. 4

    Unbolt the front leaf spring hanger from the frame using the 1/2-inch ratchet and socket and an open-end wrench. Lift the leaf spring away from the frame and axle. This is very heavy, so if you need help carrying it, get an assistant to help you out.

  5. 5

    Place the replacement leaf spring on the frame, sliding the front leaf spring bolt into the frame first, then the rear shackle to keep the suspension steady. If you need help positioning the leaf spring, use the help of an assistant.

  6. 6

    Bolt the front and rear leaf spring bolts to the vehicle using a 3/8-inch ratchet and socket and an open-end wrench. Then connect the axle u-bolts to the leaf spring using the 1/2-inch ratchet and socket.

  7. 7

    Reinstall the rear tires using the tire iron, then drop the vehicle off of the stands using the jack.

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